- The Chicago Astronomer -
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The International Astronomical Union is the only organization recognized by astronomers as the official registry for the names of celestial objects. They charge no fees. The many who do are charlatans. They simply enter suggested names for invisible stars in a book which they publish and copyright. Copyrighting does not authenticate the contents of the book; it merely serves as a warning to those who attempt to copy the book. One firm has scammed over a million people at about $50 a pop; usually more than double that with extras. Don't be conned by sincere sounding radio ads.
If your really want to name a star after someone, then pick a fairly bright one and print a pretty certificate. Meanwhile, warn your friends and avoid the embarrassment of having such foolishness presented to you.
If you know you're being conned and are still willing to fork over the cash, then do whatever you want. If you're interested, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
This thread was for the education of those who were not aware of the scam. But for those who simply want to join in the con and make a friend believe that a "cool" fake certificate is real, I suggest that a homemade version would be cheaper and would express a deeper sentiment.
In one case the scammer has sold over a million of these fake registrations for at least $50 and usually (with options) more than $100 each. If you wish to make him richer, then no one is stopping you. ;D
Now if you have already been conned, then I understand, since the stung victim almost always makes excuses for the perpetrator. Folks usually don't want to admit that they were duped. That psychology drives the bunco cops batty.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 24, 2005 3:01:04 GMT -6
Going to buy a Zirconium diamond knowing that it is what it is, is ok...but buying one under false pretenses is totally wrong.
The sellers of the "buy a Star" campaign tell the would be buyers that it will be registered with the US. Library of Congress, and therefore...making it official. Well so what? Anyone can do that, but that still doesn't name a star after anyone. But the trusting people believe so. And that gives the science of Astronomy a bad name.
And that's the danger in propagating this venture. In that case. we here should start selling "Chicago Astronomer Stars" to the general public and register the results with the LoC. I reserve Sirius for myself...naming it "Joeius".
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
Cloudy Nights has a Star Registry (Spoof), we need to start a Chicago Astronomer Star Registry...... First to sign up is me...since Joeius has been snagged, I claim Vega to be named Hayden(a) for my son.....lol.